Kenya may be grappling with high unemployment rates but business-minded Somalis who have lived in the developed world for many years are now leaving Europe and North America to establish business in Kenya. Many of them are great successess and usually come in with ideas and quickly implement and turn them into success stories. Having lived in the industrilised world, they turn unworkable business into profitable enterprises that also help to create jobs not just for other Somalis, but for Kenyans as well.
Ahmed Abdille, managing director, Kaah Hotel, is one such investors. On an ordinary day, he stops to talk to customers dining at his restaurant. His aim is to find out what they think about the food and services. ” Good customer service is one of many positive skills that we have learnt from those countries. It is paramount to a successful business”, he says.
Abdille decided to leave Britain after nine years of doing various jobs. He first noticed that there were business opportunities in Kenya after visiting his family in 2006. A year later, he left the United Kingdom and has no plans of going back.” I got a contract as a Safaricom dealer within few months of arriving in Nairobi. I then invested in a petrol station and from there on bought 50 per cent of the shares of Kaah Hotel. At the begining it was challenging as business is about taking risks and making critical decisions but I made good profits in a short period”, said the entrepreneur.
Abdiwahab Nur, managing director, sky Light Chemicals, started thinking seriously about moving to Kenya three years ago. He had lived in Finland for 17 years during which he studied science and later got a job. Last year, he made up his mind to test his business skills in Kenya. ”I started working as a drug consultant but shortly got contracts to distribute medicines to other parts of East Africa. Now we are building two factories which will produce different medicines in Kenya. I am a scientist so I am planning to build a drug research centre in Nairobi within a few years”, he says.